Knife fighting vs being attacked
Just got back from teaching Spontaneous Attack Survival for Edged Weapons at the Southwest Alabama Police Academy. Had officers from AL, FL, and MS. They all varied in shape, size, age, background, and time on the job. The class is how we teach open hand combatives against all attacks because if you train against the knife you will fair much better against open hand and impact weapons as well. You do not get to write the script for your altercation, your attacker and Murphy's Law have that job.
A few key points we started off with that were backed up by the hundreds of years of investigative experience in the class. Seldom does the victim ever see the knife, many people report thinking they were being punched. Here is the biggest failure of "knife fighting" ideas that are not pressure tested. It is usually a visible weapon would provoke you to draw a weapon. Since you don't see a weapon then you are likely to not have your own weapon out. Second, it takes the average person 3/4 of a second to process a specific visual stimulus. This means that if your training is based on seeing the weapon you will be cut or stabbed long before you could deploy your own deadly force option.
The key is to first use Constant Tactical Positioning which is the ongoing principle of putting yourself in the best position to limit your attackers physical ability to attack you by exploiting distance, movement, and physical barriers. Translates to them not having a shot on you, and if they want to make one it takes lots of preparatory movement on their part, which allows you more time to defend.
The second step is to be decisive and get away if you can, if you cannot then you need to press the attack and attack their central nervous system and structural system (collar bones, elbow, and knees) with explosive violence until they cannot hold a tool in their hand or stand up. This means no locks, no pressure points. You fight them to the ground, until they are no longer a threat. It is not a contest, you fight like a cat to get away, not like a dog to win. Because the trophy is your life, not a belt, plaque, or slap on the back from your instructor.
You have to consider at what point would you have your own knife or gun out. What would provoke that. The myth of the dual that persists in the "knife fighting" community only serves to impede reality based training.
Respond to preparatory/ furtive movements
Suppress/redirect the attack
Move to the outside
Control the weapon arm above and blow the elbow
Attack the head, collar bones, knees, and elbows
Leave the area when it is safe to do